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Eachus among nation’s best
Nate Eachus swayed from side to side as he discussed the coming football season and his numerous preseason accolades, a clear indication that Eachus is ready to stop all the talking and play some football, do some hitting.
Eachus was tapped last Tuesday as the Patriot League Preaseason Offensive Player of the Year, yet another of a long list of preseason honors including a spot on just about everyone’s preseason first-team All America team.
“Having all these great preseason awards is fantastic,” said Eachus. “It’s humbling, but I try not to look at the individual so much. If we get the wins, the yards will come. If we win a championship, the yards will come.”
A bruising back, Eachus rushed for 1,871 yards last season on 317 carries and tallied 22 total touchdowns. The Colgate senior has amassed 3,722 career yards, seventh in Patriot League history, and scored 47 rushing touchdowns, fifth all-time. His 1,871 yards last season led the nation. He also led the FCS with more than 170 rushing yards per game and scoring with 12 a game.
The Hazleton Area High School graduate gets glowing reviews from his coach, Dick Biddle, who said he wished everyone on his team played like Eachus.
He’s fun to watch too, and it’s no wonder once you get inside his head and find out how he runs.
“I want to score every time I touch the ball,” said Eachus, a former standout wrestler as well. “I’m an angry runner. If I don’t have the ball, I have to throw a block.
“I just want to run the ball hard every time I take it.”
Coming from Pennsylvania, he enjoys the opportunity to play games near home at places like Bucknell, Lafayette and Lehigh. Last year’s Lehigh game — a resounding 44-14 loss for the Raiders — still leaves a bad taste in Eachus’ mouth.
Colgate finished the season 7-4 and that game turned the tide for the Raiders and paved the road for the Mountain Hawks to take the league championship and earn the league’s berth in the FCS 20-team tournament.
“We got beat up by them last year,” said Eachus. “I’m from this area and that’s one game I’ve remembered all off-season. I had a lot of family at that game.”
Lehigh enters this season picked to repeat as Patriot League champions, though Colgate was just three points behind in a poll of coaches and sports information directors.
Eachus is looking forward to Lehigh’s visit to Colgate this season, but more importantly to the senior, he’s looking forward to getting fitted for a ring.
“We have a tough schedule ahead of us,” said Eachus. “We have Holy Cross in the second week, earlier than most league games, so we have to come out ready. In week one, everyone starts at zero.”
All-America teams Eachus has been named to: College Sporting News, Lindy’s Magazine, Sporting News and Consensus Draft Services.
Notes: Colgate produced the first Payton Award winner: running back Kenny Gamble.
By Chris Brady, The Standard Journal